Darren McFadden, Maurice Jones-Drew
Yet again, McFadden's lack of vision as well as his inability to break tackles was exposed in this one. Not just by his own performance, but by the glaring upgrade to the run game when Murray and Reece touched the ball.
Let's start with Murray doing what McFadden can't. As soon as Murray came in the game, he ran for five yards. That may not seem like a lot, but for McFadden, who averaged 2.4 yards per carry in this game, it is. Three plays later, Murray saw his gap close and bounced outside for an 11-yard touchdown run. McFadden would not have done that, and has not done that is similar situations this season. He would have tried to jam up the middle and be stopped for little or no gain. He did it several times in this game alone and it's nothing new.
On Murray's touchdown run, he made a move on the middle linebacker that completely froze him and Murray took off for 90 yards. If that were McFadden, it would have been a three or four yard run. And when's the last time you saw McFadden outrun a defense the way Murray did on that play? I'm not sure I've ever seen it, to be honest.
Now, to McFadden himself who caught a ball out of the backfield on 3rd and 3, couldn't fight through a tackle to get the extra yard and was stopped for a two-yard gain. It ended a promising drive with a punt. In the third quarter, McFadden was given some good holes to run through. The result was three carries for 19 yards (6, 6, 7). But on a couple of them, you couldn't help but think it should have been more. One in particular, he literally ran right into the tackler. The next drive, he ran into his own blocker for a loss of five.
As for MJD, he had three carries for a total of a loss of one yard. I don't know what else needs to be said about that. While Murray is breaking off huge runs, Reece is churning out tough yards, and even McFadden is getting positive yards, MJD is going less than nowhere - he's going backwards.
On a day with great offensive line play overall, Watson was a bit of a sore thumb. On a drive late in the second quarter, he gave up a tackle for loss. Early in the fourth quarter, he was called for holding. Then on the Raiders final drive, he gave up a sack on Carr (the only time Carr was sacked in the game). The lost yards ended up causing the Raiders to have to go for it on fourth down which they were fortunately able to pick up.
Could this be the last we see of Denarius? He didn't get a target in this game. The only time he touched the ball was as a punt returner and after muffing a punt at his own 11-yard line, he had those duties stripped from him in favor of 38-year-old Charles Woodson. His punt returning duties went thusly: Let one bounce to the 15-yard line, Let one go to the 40-yard line, fair catch at the 18-yard line, fair catch at the 10-yard line, muffed fair catch at the 11-yard line. And that was it. The coaches may have officially lost their trust in him touching the ball.
Jamar Chaney, Ray Ray Armstrong
Speaking of special teams gaffs... for a couple of players trying desperately to latch onto a team, these guys aren't doing themselves any favors. First it was Chaney who was called for holding on a return. Then it was Armstrong who was called for running into the kicker which brought back the punt and gave the Chiefs a new set of downs just before halftime. Chaney then missed a tackle on a 46-yard kick return. He was called for holding on the next return. Then it was Armstrong's turn to miss a tackle on a 20-yard punt return. Tony Sparano mentioned there were a couple players who he was not pleased with trying to make an NFL team through special teams. It's pretty clear he was speaking of these two who were both signed as free agents earlier this season due to injuries to Nick Roach and Kaluka Maiava.